LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - In the technology world, it doesn't take long for old to be replaced with new - and Windows users are about to experience that first-hand, as the company prepares to end support for its 12-year-old operating system, Windows XP.
You might remember using Windows XP on your computer just a few years ago, or maybe you even still have it. The decision to end program support on April 8 means no new security updates, and the software won't be compatible with new products. It could also mean less security at your local ATM.
XP is the preferred software than more than 90 percent of bank ATMs run on - and without updated security, XP will no longer be considered safe.
"Owners of [XP] devices should not consider that device as being secure," said Mohamed Elhini, chief information officer at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. "So if ATMs are running this end-of-support operating system, they should not be considered as secure devices."
Local ATMs provided by GECU are in the process of being upgraded to a newer operating system, along with ATMs at larger banks, according to Vice President Travis Carley. He added the concern isn't necessarily security - it's compatibility and competition.
"Most banks are updating to the new Microsoft software, so they can continue with support," he said. "Like anything in your business, you want to maintain that level of [being] technologically up to date."
State Bank Financial in La Crosse has already switched over its ATM machines to a new operating system. But some local ATMs, like the one you'll find in City Hall, don't necessarily run on Windows XP and won't be impacted.
If you run XP on your computer, experts suggest you either switch to a newer operating system, or don't use the Internet on that particular computer, to lower your risk of catching a virus.
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